The BFA-St. Albans football team is 6-0 and hasn’t allowed more than 14 points in a game this season. Why have the Bobwhites been so successful on defense?
“Part of it is they don’t play any,” Hartford coach Mike Stone said. “They hold onto the ball forever. They’re a Wing-T team that likes to grind it out with long drives that take time off the clock.
“They’re style is physical. They limit your touches. It’s a good recipe up in Vermont, especially with the weather.”
Hartford will play at BFA-St. Albans on Friday night in a game that features the only unbeaten teams in Division I. Hartford is 5-1 overall and 5-0 in the league. The Hurricanes’ only loss came in a non-league game against Catholic Memorial (West Roxbury, Mass.).
BFA-St. Albans is in first place, one spot ahead of Hartford, in the Division I standings. The Vermont Interscholastic Football League uses a quality point rating to determine playoff teams. The QPR is combination of a team’s victories within its division and its strength of schedule.
“I think we’re the underdog,” BFA-St. Albans coach Geoff Murray said. “I think they’ve scored at least 36 points against every Division I opponent. I’ve always thought Hartford was the team to beat in Division I. They can throw it, but if you don’t stop the run you could be in trouble.”
Hartford tailback Trevor Wood is averaging 18 yards per carry. He gained 271 yards on 16 rushing attempts in last weekend’s 36-33 triumph over Rutland.
“We had about 150 yards in penalties last week, so we’re still not where we could be,” Stone said. “We’re hoping to hit our stride down the stretch.”
BFA-St. Albans lost to Rutland in last year’s Division I semifinals, but graduated 22 seniors from that team. The Bobwhites, who haven’t won a state championship since 1960, have outscored their opponents 161-53 this season.
“We’ve been successful running the ball and playing good defense,” Murray said. “Hartford has won two of the last three (Division I) championships, so they’re a pretty strong program. It’ll be a real challenge for us.”
Colchester at Champlain Valley Union is this weekend’s marquee matchup in Division II. The teams will meet Saturday at Champlain Valley.
Colchester (4-2, 3-1) is fourth in the Division II standings. CVU (4-2, 4-1) is second.
Colchester beat CVU 22-14 in last year’s Division II championship game.
DEFENSE DOESN’T REST
The CVU boys' soccer team rarely loses. In fact, it rarely allows a goal.
CVU has won seven of the last eight Division I championships and raised its record to 8-0-1 by beating Essex, 4-0, Saturday. Tanner Tomasi scored twice in the victory, which dropped Essex to 7-2-0.
The only goal CVU has allowed this season came in a 3-1 triumph over Colchester on Oct. 4. When Colchester’s Dustan Whitcomb scored that day, it ended a 14-game streak in which CVU hadn’t surrendered a goal.
Before Whitcomb scored, the last goal CVU allowed came during a 3-1 victory over Essex on Oct. 10, 2009.
CVU is scheduled to play Burlington at home Wednesday. The teams played to a scoreless tie last month.
Like the CVU boys, the CVU girls' soccer team is also on top of the Division I standings. The Lady Redhawks are 10-1-0 and have been winning with offense.
CVU has scored 45 goals in its 11 games, and has collected at least four goals in eight of those 11 contests.
The Hartford field hockey team beat South Burlington in the semifinals en route to the Division I championship last season, and it appears the Hurricanes will have to go through South Burlington to win this year’s title as well.
Both teams are 11-0-0, and every other Division I team has at least three losses.
Hartford has outscored its opponents 47-2, and South Burlington has outscored its opposition 43-4.
Twin Valley boys' soccer coach Buddy Hayford collected the 300th victory of his high school coaching career when Twin Valley posted a 6-1 victory over Green Mountain on Saturday.
Hayford, who is in his 27th season as a varsity head coach, coached at Wilmington High School until it merged with Whitingham High School to become Twin Valley in 2004.
Roger Brown has covered high school sports in New England since 1992. He currently covers high school and college football in the Northeast for ESPN/Scouts Inc.